SCA’s New Complaint Resolution

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SCA’s New Complaint Resolution

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    Rana Goodman

    On the SCA Board agenda for the March 25th meeting a resolution to handle complaints is listed at the very end of the meeting.  When I spotted it on the agenda I believed it would be about CC&R violations, ARC complaints and such…. That is not the case, as I read it.

    This resolution is basically complaints from we owners, or “residents”, I think that may include renters too, where the complaint against another resident, committee member, or whom-ever, must be filed on an official form (designed by the board’s attorney so watch for lots of legalize verbiage) with management and they will decide if,

    A: The complaint is warranted

    B: If it falls under harassment

    C: If the complaint will be acted on or not

    Nowhere does it say anything about what action might be taken against a party that has a complaint levied against them. Will they too be barred from the community property for months at a time like a resident was several years ago?

    It states, Association management shall distribute formally submitted complaints to the proper party for action. Of course it is also noted that complaints are confidential so that makes me wonder how the complainant would ever know the result of the complaint made.

    The paragraph numbered 4 is especially confusing in part since it states the party that received the complaint shall take no action on the complaint other than delivering it to association management.”  Would that mean that if the “management person” decides the complaint is not warranted the individual who filed “said” complaint cannot take that complaint to a higher authority such as Small Claims Court or their own attorney without being hit with a harassment claim by the HOA? If so, wouldn’t that be “over reaching” by the HOA and their attorney?” I don’t believe that any HOA board or management has the right to mandate that.

    The very first item in the resolution sayscomplaints may be made against owners, residents, guests, invitees, board members, committee members, officers, staff members, or any other person associated with or entering the community”. Well please tell me what jurisdiction does our management have against “any person entering the community”….

    Don’t our management and staff have enough to do without the board and their attorney mandating that they also act as the SCA police force too?  The resolution refers to harassment over and over again, yet our “code of conduct” already in the associations Rules and Regulations for some time…. WOW! I think a review of the HOA legal fees for these kind of  excessive might legal dabbling be in order!

    This resolution, in my opinion,  seems very overreaching. What if somebody’s gardener gives a person walking their dog a hard time – is the resident that hired the gardener responsible?

    It’s also not clear how much control management has over this. It seems like an awful lot. Can they start leveling complaints against homeowners who they feel might be asking  them too many questions?  Are they so sensitive that they they would consider that harassment and fine the homeowner?  There are no guidelines for the “punishment“ or “fine” so who knows what they are going to do. It is beginning to feel like living in a pogrom.

    Rana Goodman

    The following email is a comment from a leading Berkshire-Hathaway realtor.

    Sent: 3/24/2021 12:22:11 PM Pacific Standard Time
    Subject: Re: New complaint resolution

    During the 9 years that I served on a homeowner’s association board, I always felt that it was incumbent on us, as a board, to maintain my community’s property values. At times, this meant that I took exception with my fellow board members.

    As a Realtor who has done a significant amount of business in Sun City Anthem since the “under construction” days, I view what’s been happening there in despair. Just as a neglected property can drive down neighborhood values, it seems that the turmoil caused by an egocentric Board of Directors could cause prospective buyers to avoid the community. Most seniors are looking to enjoy their “golden years”, not be subjected to such ego-centric goings-on.

    Realtors, by our Code of Ethics, are required to disclose “material facts” which could affect a properties’s value. It seems that the current turmoil could be a negative on those values. It’s very upsetting to see such a beautiful community in such disarray.

    Rana Goodman

    The following comments were sent in by an attorney living in SCA who prefers that his/her name not be published.

    Lets say my neighbor calls me racist names a bunch of times, and I want the HOA to act on it.  It makes sense that I would fill out a complaint form and give it to management.  Once management gets an Anti-Harassment Complaint, what do they do with it?

    Do they give it to the BOD? At one point Adam said that the Anti-Harassment complaints are to be given to the BOD.  That wouldn’t make sense, because the BOD is the appeal of last resort and they are too busy to handle these things.

    Do they give it to Covenants for action? That also does not make sense, because they are basically the appeals court who decides whether the fine issued by management was proper.
    Does management act on it themselves? Adam did not say management issues the fine for Anti-Harassment violations. That does not appear to be an option under this policy.
    Once the Anti-Harassment Complaint is directed to someone who could issue a fine (BOD? Covenants? Management?), what if any investigation is to occur? Will they even call the accused to get their side of the story? If so, where does it say that in the policy?

    If the neighbor did a bad thing, what is the fine? We have fine schedules for other things, but not for anti-harassment.

    If a fine is issued, to whom does the accused appeal? If the fine was issued by the BOD, then it is too late for Covenants to hear the protest/appeal of the fine.

    Adam said during the meeting that the enforcement should only be for the really bad things.  The Anti-Harassment Policy adopted by the board does not say that.  While that should be the goal, I wish there was more guidance to assure that Anti-Harassment Complaints do not become routine for garden variety neighborhood squabbles or for criticisms of management that hurt someone’s feelings.

    I didn’t expect to hear Adam mention “Anti-SLAPP” during the BOD meeting. (I told you about Nevada’s Anti-SLAPP statute giving the right to speak about public matters).  Will that information be in the guidelines for the entity who enforces the new policy and/or Covenants?

    If I had more time, I could find more that is missing.

    This policy is half baked.

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